David Hockney

I had a chance to see the Hockney exhibition, having missed all the opening festivities.   I feel I’ve grown up with these paintings, the different phases of his career, and his never-ending visual and technical experiment and hedonism, beginning in the early 1960s with some work which is very familiar (We Two Boys Clinging Together and Flight into Italy) and some (Arizona) much less so.   One still gets the sense of discovery when he arrives in California and the room of big double portraits looks particularly good.   I had forgotten the picture of his parents in the Tate has Piero’s Baptism reflected in the mirror and Piero and Proust together with the Phaidon volume of Chardin are inherited references, like talismans.   I had never seen his early Self-Portrait drawing, done in 1954, in which he observes himself observing, looking out at the world, self conscious and determined.

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